Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reader Question: Dishwasher Dilemma

It's always nice to have someone help out with some content for the blog. Thankfully, there are tons of great blog readers and occasionally I'm able to answer some questions and share some thoughts.

Today's question is one that designers are hearing more and more and appliance companies have stepped up to the plate with some solutions.

"I can't bend over to load the bottom rack of my dishwasher because of chronic back issues. I don't want to give up using the dishwasher altogether but what can I do to prevent running nearly empty loads of dishes? My husband and I are planning to build a house and we need some advice. Help?"

Between homeowners with back or neck issues and those just getting a bit older, the bottom of the dishwasher can be problematic.

Designers are more cognizant of designing spaces that are ADA(Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant and feature spaces and appliances that lend to ease of use and allowing homeowners to gracefully age in their homes without making drastic construction modifications. 

Planning on the front end is key! 

I love dishwasher drawers. Problem is, with a stacked dishwasher drawer that's only 24"(that's standard dishwasher width) wide, you still have that pesky bottom drawer. 

Fisher & Paykel recently released their DishDrawer Wide. It's a magical 36" wide!

Now before you ask why the 36" measurement is magical, it'll hold 9 place settings of dishes!

Tons of adjustable(and folding) racking, accommodations for stemware and only using 3.5 gallons per cycle are just a few of the features. 

Hopefully this helps with your dishwasher dilemma. If you have trouble bending over and want to maintain a large dishwasher, the Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer Wide is an easy choice. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Faucet Love - Lacava Spiro

Few times will a faucet stop you in your tracks...

One of the newest releases from Lacava, the Spiro mimics a ribbon and would make any bathroom spectacular.

Available soon in the classic chrome finish, the Spiro will have models that are single-hole(like shown) or three-hole models and single-lever or double knob operation. Additionally, if the vessel look is your style, a wall mount Spiro will be perfect.

There's been quite a movement toward sculptural faucets and the Spiro is no different.

What do you think? Would it work at your house?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Inspiration - UP Replica House

I've only seen the movie "Up" once, but was struck by the cute little home featured that floats away thanks to lots of balloons.

Bangerter Homes in Utah created a near exact replica of the home for their local Parade of Homes in 2011. The 2800 square foot home features many of the same nuances from the movie. The detail is pretty impressive!

Check it out:

Last I saw, the home was on the market for just shy of $400k. According to the builder's website, the home is open for free tours. If you're not close to Utah, check out this video for a sneak peek of the interior.

Could you live here? 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Interest In Pinterest

Pinterest has grown like few social networks have... Believe it or not, it's replacing search engines in some aspects.

How do you use Pinterest? Do you see it lasting or falling like MySpace and so many others?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Find - Millmii Grinder

I love my salt and pepper grinders... until of course one goes startlingly missing. Having fresh ground pepper changes the entire flavor palette of a dish and once one starts using freshly ground pepper, going back to the old canned stuff isn't any fun.

yormii has introduced a revolutionary product that makes your old pepper grinder look like way behind the times.

Check out the Millmii Grinder:

The Millmii pepper mill operates by holding the grinder between your palms and rubbing them together as you would to warm them up on a cold day. Much more friendly for those with hand and wrist problems... No more gripping the top of the grinder.

Because of the new design, yormii was recently awarded and honorable mention from the reddot design awards!

Perhaps the best part of the mill is the ability to adjust the coarseness of the pepper from fine to not so fine. Ha! I think it's an awesome little gadget!

According to the yormii site, the Millmii mill will be available in the UK this fall... I can't wait to get these on our side of the pond.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Burbs Going Bust

Really interesting to see how neighborhoods are changing around the country. You'll see that there are lots of factors going in to the suburban changes... Has this affected your family?

Still living in the 'burbs?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wish List - Dorbracht Horizontal Shower

There's nothing better than a nice relaxing shower after a long day of work, cutting the lawn or just to de-stress after having a rough moment.

I love water. At more than one occasion I've considered installing one of those ADA-compliant shower seats in my shower just so I can sit down instead of falling down when I fall asleep for a moment.

The water wizards over at Dornbracht have figured out a magnificent new way for me to end up with shriveled fingers and toes. 

Yes friends... it's a horizontal shower.

Dornbracht touts their horizontal shower system that uses the Ambience Tuning Technique with six water bars as a tool to shower like never before.

The six water bars execute pre-programmed choreographed cycles that allow shower users to choose a program to fit the shower needs of the day. Some of the featured effects are Balancing, Energizing and De-Stressing. 

So what do you think? I know that I'd be asleep in a matter of seconds, but it sure beats sitting in a tub!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Inspiration - Loving Laundry

It's Mother's Day and there are tons of Moms(and me) that would love to have a big luxurious laundry/craft space to fold clothes and wrap presents(Sorry- that's all I can think about when I see a big, one-level island).

So here's to you Moms that may not have the laundry room of your dreams... yet.

Check out these awesome spaces and go call your Mom.

The photos are all ones I'd bookmarked at Houzz... Click on them to go there!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Square Foot Gardening - Get Started for $50!

Gardening at home is a fun way to spend time with the family AND help put some fresh veggies on the table. Once you expose yourself to some home-grown goodness, it's hard to go back to anything else!

Check out these ways you can garden at home relatively simply.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Find - Smarin Livingstones

Can't decide on new furniture for the den or living room? Tired of the same old sofa and easy chair? Really want your guests to feel like your cave is actually a... well, cave?

It's your lucky day.

Smarin is a French company that has a line called Livingstones that's meant to be used as primary or accessory furniture pieces.

I must say... it's startlingly appealing.

The "stones" are 100% wool(I guess that's why they look like giant other-worldly tennis balls). Don't expect to see them in stores anytime soon. They're available on an 8-week lead time and price and design are available by request from Smarin.

So what do you think?

Pull up a stone and chat a while.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

You Might Have Acrophobic Paruresis

Don't know what that means?

At some point most people have been in a public potty and had some sort of shy streak and not been able to "go"... that's paruresis.

Imagine being invited to a party at a posh Mexican penthouse... You're socializing and responsibly imbibing and suddenly it hits you, "I should run to the loo."

You ask for directions to the potty and are suddenly faced with this...


WHAT?! Where do you feel the most safe? I'd likely hold on to the toilet paper holder. Ha!

This bathroom was designed by Hernandez Silva and built in a colonial Mexican building. The bathroom was built over an existing(but currently out-of-use) 15-story elevator shaft. The glass floor and lighting really make the space unique.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Captioning Wednesday #1

I make up captions for photos all the time... It's a bad habit considering that it's usually when I'm looking at someone's family photos or another borderline offensive moment.

Interior captioning is fun, too.

We will do it together from now own. Down in the comments, you go!

Here's the caveat: Don't be mean or I'll be mean to you... And it won't be fun.

First up...  Stunning photo from a space by the Brooklyn Home Co. photographed by Emily Gilbert.

There's no prize, just my admiration for being witty and observant.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#LetsBlogOff - Saying So Long

The internet is a fickle mistress.

The #LetsBlogOff phenomenon is coming to an end this week for a variety of reasons- none of which anyone should be upset over. Sure it's a bummer to think we may not all connect every other week on our blogs, but the interwebs continue to evolve and I can only look back at #LetsBlogOff with some really fond memories.

As I had a tendency to do in any of the twenty topics I participated in, I've chosen to again stray outside the rules and just give a few little tidbits I observed while reflecting on the time with #LetsBlogOff.

Today, I read every #LetsBlogOff post I've written. All twenty. In a row.

Best practices in social media(includes blogs) are all good and well. I see them all over everywhere now as social media continues to gain more and more mainstream traction. #LetsBlogOff brought out the best best practice there is... individuality. When you read those posts from weeks and months and years past, you got a real dose of the writer. Positives, negatives, strengths, flaws, likes, dislikes, recipes and burned cookies... it was a real, intimate glimpse in to people's lives.

I try to keep business and personal life moderately separated. I am a real person, though so you're going to have to deal with pictures of my dogs and ice cream on occasion. Thankfully, #LetsBlogOff brought out the real in a lot of people. I'm thankful to have been just a little part of that.

So as a parting gift, a sweet song from a post in a previous #LetsBlogOff post... The Secret Sisters singing, "The One I Love Is Gone".

You should spend some time and read all of my #LetsBlogOff posts... As well as those who participated alongside. You'll be able to find those posts here forever... To read just mine, click here.

Remember that you never know when someone will flash a shiny shoe-shaped bathtub in your face and nearly con you in to blogging about it!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Jeremy Parcels: Trend-Spotting from Coverings 2012

Last month I spent an awesome few days in Orlando with fellow industry professionals at the Coverings Show. It's THE tile and stone show and features a who's who of heavyweights in the tile and stone industry.

HUGE thanks to Jeremy Parcels from RJM Contractors for sharing his experience(and letting me run around with him)!

Recently I had the pleasure of attending Coverings: The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience for the first time. This international show has a distinctive European influence brought in by two of the shows major sponsors Tile of Spain and Tile of Italy. This comes as no surprise since the Spanish and Italians have made the best tile in the world for 100’s of years. The booths at this trade show were far different than others I have attended and each seemed to have its own lounge area like this one from Cerdomus.

You were invited to sit down and perhaps enjoy a coffee or a bite to eat while seeing their latest selections and conducting business. The hospitality put out by the exhibitors was quite refreshing and it kept you in the booth to examine their products more closely. While I was attending this show in Orlando I was fortunate to have Nick with me to check out all the latest and greatest in the world of tile and stone. While perusing the isles of tiles, Nick was nice enough to ask me to share with you many of the trends we saw on the show floor. Some have already made their way into our showrooms and some that are yet on the horizon.

I had a couple of requests for high gloss tile before the show. This made me ask myself, is it coming back in style? Walking down one isle at coverings my suspicions were confirmed. Beautiful glossy tiles were everywhere. While I have to admit these aren’t my favorite because of how slippery they can be, I do see how they can make a big statement in a space.  

Glossy directional from Bedrosians

Large format tile has been rising in popularity over the last year and this year seems to be headed in the same direction. Like these large pieces from New Ravenna by Giovanni Barbieri.

Mosaics have been very popular over the last couple of years and the demand for high end mosaics seems to be continuing. Nick and I were blown away by the new lines from New Ravenna.

Handcrafted tile these beauties could be easily missed if you were concentrating on the larger booths. But the craftsman type tiles are big with homeowners right now.

We saw more than a couple of manufacturers displaying similar Antique mirror tiles to this one from Artistic Tile.

Pillowed edges were everywhere.

Faux wood is another trend continuing from last year which I get many requests for in my showroom. The great part about these tiles is that they are sustainable surfaces suitable for wet areas and are even available in hand scrapped textures!

Textured Tile can help bring another dimension to a design and it was on display big time at Coverings both in large format pieces and Mosaics.


Coverings is a great show that I plan on continuing to attend and hopefully Nick will be joining me again because he kept me entertained for two days! Please feel free to check out my blog for design and construction related topics RJM Blog.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mother's Day Spending and You!

Mother's Day is May 13... That's just 7 days away for you procrastinating gift buyers.

Hopefully my Mom won't actually read this because she's not getting anywhere near the national average spent on the holiday. Holy smokes, that'd be lots of pasta sauce and magic erasers. Sheesh. I just ruined my gift.

Take a look at how spending goes for this grand holiday for Mom.

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